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21st Amendment

[ 79 ] December 5, 2012 |

On this date in 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing Prohibition, otherwise known as the stupidest law in American history.

The state that put the 21st Amendment over the top? Utah, of course.

Today in the Coming Republican Coalition

[ 43 ] December 5, 2012 |

On all fronts, the Republicans are making remarkable progress in building a coalition that will appeal to people who aren’t old and white.

1. John Sununu dismissing Obama’s victory as a group of people dependent on the government.

2. A Subway owned by Republican Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana refused to serve a Muslim couple and told them that was the reason.

3. The rejection of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Disabled treaty.

If there’s three things that appeal to young voters, it’s denigrating why they voted for Obama, Jim Crow-style treatment of brown people, and hating on the disabled because of anti-world government nonsense.

I can’t wait for the coming immigration debate.

Ending the Debt Ceiling Absurdity

[ 17 ] December 5, 2012 |

Let’s hope Obama sticks to his guns on being done with playing debt ceiling games with the Republicans.

The Republican Congress overplayed its hand. It’s time for Democrats to call them on it. The new Congress looks promising on these measures and it’s amusing to see the Republicans scrambling for the first time in forever. Time to slam some filibuster reform through, force Republicans to the wall on raising taxes on the rich, and taking power away from Congress on the debt ceiling if it won’t take reasonable stances.

Dave Brubeck, RIP

[ 146 ] December 5, 2012 |

Another great one is gone.

The Dark UN Conspiracy Takes Another Hero

[ 98 ] December 4, 2012 |

Thank God (thank HIM!!!!!!!) for Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, who is willing to stand up against Satan’s grand strategy to use his minions (the United Nations) to destroy this great nation through such horrors as urban planning. In October, Rogers led his peers to hear a speaker at the state capitol building railing against the dark conspiracy known as Agenda 21, a nonbinding, voluntary UN action plan in favor of sustainable development. I’ve never heard of such a threat to the United States and God’s plan for us to develop the nation’s resources to generate profits for wealthy white people who can then store their riches offshore in the Cayman Islands.

Satan takes his pound of flesh though (though given Satan’s nefarious agenda, he probably prefers organic, locally-produced flesh. Not to mention a kilogram of flesh instead of a pound) and Rogers is now “resigning” from the Georgia Senate to “spend more time with his family.” Can we Christians take a few minutes away from building more suburban developments in wetlands to rescue our hero? Don’t you know that “spending more time with his family” is a euphemism for “sustainable, walking cities?” My god, there might be black people in those places! And not every store would have a parking lot the size of Rhode Island! Can you imagine the horror? If we don’t save him now, will Satan take him to the never before known 20th Circle of Hell–making him an employee of an NGO working with indigenous people to save their lands from oil development?

The Coming Coalition Indeed

[ 63 ] December 4, 2012 |

If John O’Sullivan and Jonah Goldberg have anything to say about it, Republicans are certainly about the turn the corner in attracting non-whites:

“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans. Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity, which we used to have, which we knew how to bring about and which in the last 20 or 30 years very largely as a result of the democrats wanting to emphasize ethnicity rather than American-ness. We have lost that and frankly one of the reasons we have not regained it and doing very badly at the moment is because the Republicans have neither had the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans and craft an appeal that won them over. They have got to do that.”

If we only crush racial and ethnic identity (and of course forget I said the words “make them think of themselves,” Asians and Hispanics will rush to be Republicans! I recommend doing this by all of us uniting in a race war on black people!!

Sounds like there’s not much difference between this O’Sullivan and his namesake.


Free Speech

[ 23 ] December 4, 2012 |

I assume that conservatives’ spirited defense of free speech in fighting the California law banning the use of gay conversion therapies for minors means that they will provide equally full-throated arguments in favor of other sorts of speech that would expose children to ideas about sexuality that could potentially damage them, such as the display of pornography in convenience stores next to schools.

Presidential Rankings

[ 65 ] December 2, 2012 |

Brooks Simpson, the noted biographer of Ulysses Grant, makes some good points about the problems with presidential ranking polls. Among them, what are we supposed to evaluate?

I also wonder about the criteria for evaluation. First, are we evaluating a president’s effectiveness in achieving his agenda, without regard as to what that agenda might be? Take the case of James K. Polk, who was very effective in meeting his goals. Does that make him a great president? Or take the more complicated case of Andrew Johnson. The seventeenth president is currently considered one of the worst chief executives. Certainly his presidency was a damaging one. But was it ineffective, or was he something of a Tim Tebow in the White House, who got the job done in an ugly fashion? After all, Johnson wanted to preserve white supremacy while restoring the Union. One could argue that his obstructionist behavior undermined efforts to pursue a more fundamental reconstruction of the nation that established a sounder foundation for the future of the emancipated. Yes, a Republican-controlled Congress passed legislation and two constitutional amendments, but it also rushed to restore civil government and spent a great deal of energy in seeking to handcuff Johnson. The result was the construction of a structure on unsound ground that soon collapsed in the 1870s.

Is the criteria getting your agenda accomplished? Fitting the moral strictures of 2012? Leadership? Ability to handle a crisis? Simpson also notes that these polls way oversample biographers of famous presidents, leaving voices evaluating, say, William Howard Taft way behind.

Dole/Kemp ’96

[ 45 ] December 1, 2012 |

Just in case anyone wanted to play around on the official Dole/Kemp website, which miraculously still exists. I know I look forward to following along on the victory marathon.


Let the Silliness Begin

[ 109 ] December 1, 2012 |

Baseball Hall of Fame voting debates are going to be intolerable for the rest of my life.

And personally, Curt Schilling saying that cheaters don’t deserve to be in is pretty funny. What about fleecing the state of Rhode Island, Curt? Should that disqualify you?


[ 18 ] November 28, 2012 |

Do you like to dive?

Do you like cool colorful tropical fish?

Do you like coral reefs?

If you do, take advantage now because they are going away very, very fast.

In another 50 years, coral reefs will be a myth our grandchildren won’t believe, like unicorns and moderate Republicans.

The Rising Tide of Liberalism

[ 119 ] November 28, 2012 |

Chait is really optimistic about the future of liberalism given the political leanings of young people:

What all this suggests is that we may soon see a political landscape that will appear from the perspective of today and virtually all of American history as unrecognizably liberal. Democrats today must amass huge majorities of moderate voters in order to overcome conservatives’ numerical advantage over liberals. They must carefully wrap any proposal for activist government within the strictures of limited government, which is why Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, and Obama has promised not to raise taxes for 99 percent of Americans. It’s entirely possible that, by the time today’s twentysomethings have reached middle age, these sorts of limits will cease to apply.

I am too naturally pessimistic to buy into this without reservation. But there’s no question that in some fundamental ways he is right. On social issues, conservatives are losing badly and they increasingly know it. Gay marriage is going to be legal across the nation within 20 years. We are moving toward drug legalization with shocking rapidity. Anti-immigrant politics don’t appeal to these voters. The key question revolves around economic issues. If young people are committed to building an American version of a European-style social welfare state, then I feel really optimistic about the nation’s future myself.

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